About Uncle Jack... a tribute


Jack Massion  


Jacob Massion in a family photograph taken in Ananiev, Ukraine circa 1907, the year he left for America with his siblings.

Niland, California and the Salton Sea

    Jack bought land in Niland Ca in 1954. He lived there in an existing adobe house and began to build a bath house for his mineral springs resort.  As a child, I remember going there many times. People came there to soak in old bathtubs full of the hot mineral water (see the essay on the Visiting Page & pictures of the mineral springs in Ananiev)

    Jack was Mayor of Niland more than one term, and for years, we had a huge dictionary in our home inscribed to him from the people of Niland, California for his service.  A lifelong bachelor, and ladies’ man, he always brought paper napkins in large quantity to the community potluck dinners.  The land was sold by the family after his death.

     Land Record record for JACK MASSION


     Date: 30 Nov 1954

     Location: CA, Imperial County

     Document #: 1148258

     Serial #: CALA 0086094

     Sale Type: Desert Land Act

     Meridian or Watershed: SB

     Parcel: Township 010S, Range 013E, Section 10

Cal Berkeley & the Massion Pharmacies in Los Angeles

But in the meantime, Jack left Wyoming for the Bay area around 1917 to attend the College of Pharmacy at UC Berkeley for which according to the State Blue Book, he, self-taught, had diligently studied in order to attend. A postcard from his brother, Al in September of 1918 is addressed to J. Massion, 1271 Turk St., San Francisco CA. Jack graduated in 1920 and went on to open drug stores in Long Beach (per nephew Sol Rischal) and Los Angeles at 7680 Central Avenue and in Boyle Heights.

Ca House of Reps and the Los Angeles race

Go to http://www.joincalifornia.com/candidate/6289 for Jack’s years in the California House of Representatives representing the 66th District of Los Angeles.

    Jack Massion was elected and re-elected to the California State Assembly by the 66th District in Los Angeles, and served from 1938 to 1946.  He served on committees that reflected his expertise: Medical, land and water use, and labor.  In 1946,  Jack left the House and ran for the Los Angeles city council. He lost to Kenneth Hahn, Sr. Family members liked to say that because of Red Scare rumors and his Russian birth, he didn’t win.

Ananiev      Wyoming       Pharmacist        Politician        Entrepreneur      

Jack Massion, born in Ananiev, arrived in the United States as a young teen in 1907 on the ship Korea with 3 of his 5 siblings. After wintering in Minn/St. Paul, they joined a group of Jewish families who refused to wait another winter for land from the Baron de Hirsh Fund, and went to homestead successfully outside Cheyenne, Wyoming in Iowa Center. The closest town was Chugwater. Each sibling farmed 320 acres (that’s another story to be told) with each others assistance.  The Massions farmed in Wyoming for more than 20 years before heading for Los Angeles, California. Some cousins still continue to own land there.

Below: State Assemblyman Jack Massion (66th district) on the right with California Gov. Culbert Olson (seated) and unknown associate circa 1940.

Copyright © 2008 Andrea Massion